Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the mothers and grandmothers in our lives, so it’s a particularly hard time of year to live far away from family. My parents live across the country from us, while my in-laws are in Costa Rica. Though we try to visit as often as we can, it is not practical to go as often as we like, so maintaining ties can be a challenge. Here are some easy ways we have discovered to keep in touch with family far away. Leave your ideas in the comments!
5 Easy Ways to Keep in Touch with Family Far Away
1. Homemade Cards and Gifts
I am a big believer in old-fashioned cards and gifts. For special occasions the kids and I always sit down to make homemade cards to send to loved ones. Especially when you live far away, having a sweet, tangible gift really means a lot! And cards are very practical, since they are inexpensive to send overseas. Hand print cards like this hand trace art are perfect, since they are a great keepsake gift as well. At our last family reunion, my sister-in-law had all the kids make hand print T-shirts for each other – so fun! For even more ideas, check out my Homemade Gift Ideas board on Pinterest.
2. Photo Gifts
Photo gifts are also a lovely way to be “present” in your family’s lives even though you are far away. We send out photo cards with pictures of the kids each year, and often create special family photos to send to the grandparents in the US and Costa Rica for occasions like Mother’s Day. They are truly cherished, as this way the grandparents get to “see” the kids everyday.
3. Create a Shared Ritual
One sweet idea is to create a ritual you each can do at the same time. For example, you could take a morning walk or work in the garden at around the same time then share photos of the flowers or animals you see. (Especially fun if your kids help take the photos!) You could also have special candles that you each light as you say your evening prayers, or a favorite bedtime story you read together over the phone, or a decoration that you can both use on special occasions. My sister, for example, sent us all beautiful handmade garlands that each family uses to decorate for the holidays.
4. Virtual Parties
Can’t be there for a special occasion? Get on the computer and make a virtual visit! My family threw a virtual baby shower for us before each of our babies was born, and we have gotten to be a part of the big family Christmas celebration in Costa Rica each year via computer! We really felt like we were there as my sister-in-law “carried” us around the house to say hi to everyone and even drool over the food!
5. Send a Financial Gift
If we lived nearby, we could take the grandmothers out for brunch on Mother’s Day, or buy them a special gift on their birthdays. Since this is not practical because of the distance, we often send a financial gift instead. (Be sure to check out these awesome Mother’s Day deals and egift cards from PayPal!)
As a busy mom, I’m so glad that now I’ve discovered how easy and safe PayPal and Xoom are to manage and move money quickly. Now I can rest easy knowing our gift was received and they have more time to focus on family rather than chasing down the money transfer. Managing our money securely is important to our growing family, so using services like PayPal and Xoom helps relieve that added stress that finances can bring.
Xoom is the only remittances company that offers instant disbursements, and it has so many options for how your loved ones can receive your financial gift, such as bank transfers, cash pick-up or delivery, bill pay and mobile reload – so easy! And how great is it that you can track your transfers with SMS alerts, and even get a text message when the money is received? I can recall so many instances in the past when my husband had to make multiple phone calls to see exactly how/when our family could pick up the money we had sent, and even then we never quite relaxed until we got a call from our family members that they had received the money successfully. The Xoom system is so much easier, leaving more time for everyone to relax and enjoy the holiday!
How do you keep in touch with family far away?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.